Why is PN behaving exactly like the Najib administration by hiding secrets?
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Damansara, Tony Pua Kiam Wee has urged the Ministry of Finance to clarify the exorbitant fees that the government allegedly paid to ‘professionals’ involved in the 1MDB settlement with multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs. This was after allegations surfaced that a whopping RM500 million commission was paid to a political party through a high-profile lawyer involved in the settlement.
As reported by the Malaysian Insight, a police report has already been made regarding this. Furthermore, Kuang assemblyman Sallehudin Amiruddin has even claimed that this deal even benefited Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s party, Bersatu whereby part of the fees were kicked back into the party’s funds.
Following growing concerns among the Malaysian public that the settlement is not as ‘clean‘ as it was made out to be, Tony Pua in a press statement today calls upon Muhyiddin to break his silence. The DAP lawmaker asserted,
“Muhyiddin Yassin must end his elegant silence over the matter and provide the transparency he preached to end the doubts that have been raised over the matter once and for all.”
Tony also reminded PN that under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, every salient details of all contracts and agreements were made available for public scrutiny. This practice is of the utmost importance, especially if the agreement involves fees for mega-projects.
Disappointingly, such transparency was never exerted by PN regarding the 1MDB settlement with Goldman Sachs and as it turns out, the settlement itself could be as controversial as the 1MDB scandal itself.
Back in July 2020, the Government of Malaysia arrived at a settlement of USD2.5 billion cash payout by Goldman Sachs over the latter’s culpability in the global 1MDB scandal. That in itself raised eyebrows, considering it fell short of the USD7.5 billion settlement that the PH federal government pushed for.
Previously, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng said that PN has been ‘duped’ by the compromised settlement as it immensely favours Goldman Sachs. Furthermore, Lim gave various reasons as to why the settlement was contentious, including:
- Goldman Sachs is only paying one third of USD7.5 billion which was the initial demand by the PH Malaysian government.
- USD1.4 billion is not paid by Goldman Sachs, but will come from embezzled 1MDB assets seized by authorities worldwide.
- PN is dropping criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and 17 of its current and former directors.
Furthermore, even after vehement criticisms by the opposition and the civil society, PN has steadfastly refused to unveil the unsatisfactory terms of the settlements with Goldman Sachs. In November 2020, de facto Law Minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said that the agreement can’t be made public as it is bound by a confidentially clause.
Despite PN unnecessarily signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Goldman Sachs over the settlement, Tony said that the fees 1MDB had paid to its professionals would not be covered under the NDA. He then urges the government to reveal the details to Malaysians.
Yesterday, 1MDB lawyer Rosli Dahlan lodged a police report against former Umno Supreme council member Datuk Seri Lokman Noor Adam and Kuang assemblyman Sallehuddin Amiruddin for criminal defamation. However, while he denied the allegations above, there was no truth unveiled in Rosli’s statement.
The allegations have also agitated Bersatu information chief, Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan. He has since came out all guns blazing and called the whole matter as ‘slander’ and ‘character assassination’ of Bersatu’s President.
Regarding Wan Saiful’s comments, Tony said that the Bersatu information chief’s claims that the party ‘was formed to fight for integrity and transparent governance’ is laughable. Tony, who is also DAP National Publicity Secretary, iterated,
“If it was really about ‘transparent’ governance, then why is the Muhyiddin government hiding behind the veil of secrecy?”
Tony then stressed that failure to address the matter would ensure that Muhyiddin’s legacy will soon be as tainted as former Prime Minister Najib Razak. Should the allegations turn out to be true, then there is no bigger irony than funds painstakingly recovered from Goldman Sachs by Pakatan Harapan to repay the enormous debts of 1MDB caused by Najib’s kleptocracy are now being siphoned in part for the benefit of Muhyiddin and Bersatu’s political interest. – The Rocket.